Thank you. I was diagnosed with autism at 40 (in the middle of career 1 crashing and burning.) I'm 50 now. If I had information about this condition when I was growing up, life could have been much easier.

The computer takes away the thick walls that seem to separate me from other people when I see them in person. (I would never have spoken this response to you.) I really wish I could make more offline friendships, and I hope more of my online ones will turn into offline friendships given time.

You're never alone and I wish you al the best moving forward.

Coming to terms with undiagnosed Autism

I was an odd child. I had obsessions and waves of odd things that I would fall into and allow to consume myself. In the 1970s doctors gave few Autism diagnoses, particularly for little girls. …

Mindfulness and living in the present season

Yesterday, I took off my socks. This is the first time I have gone sockless since last autumn when the temperatures dropped and stayed there. I hope to stay relatively sockless until the chilly winds come again. …

1980s West Virginia was not an enlightened place

High school was not a good time for me — either academically or socially. If it was for you, I am happy for you. For me it was a time of being on the borders of cliques and having friends who “broke up” with me or did cruel and thoughtless…

Thank you. We need a world where we can take the time and space we need to be ourselves. I have wanted that quiet room - or even a quiet chair in a corner so many times when I overstimulate.

I so hate the term "high functioning" or "passing." I'm a human on a spectrum. I earned my Ph.D. and tried to work in their world. It didn't work, but if society would just bend a little bit, I could have a place in it.

Johanna Haas

Freelance writer. Reader, learner, living with a disability, occasional surrealist, Ph.D., J.D. (Ohio State).

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